Monday, November 27, 2006

Miguel is Out! It's the Final 3 at the Big Dome!

The support for Heartthrob Idol Miguel Mendoza was not enough to put him in the Final 3.

Gian Magdangal, Jan Nieto, and Mau Marcelo are our final contestants who would slug it out vocally on December 9 in Araneta Coliseum. The results of which will be shown the day after also in the Big Dome.

Several viewers commented online that Ryan Cayabyab's "bribe" of offering Miguel a song written by him if he doesn't make it to the Top 3 worked, while others said that criticisms on Miguel was unfair to begin with.

Either way, expect a highly-charged, encore-worthy performances two weeks from now.

Live Chat with Top 6 Idol finalists

On Thursday, November 30, 2006, Pow Chavez, Ken Dingle, Mau Marcelo, Gian Magdangal, Miguel Mendoza, and Jan Nieto will join Heart Evangelista on I Love Philippine Idol at 9PM on ABC-5 for a live chat online!

Our bubwit tells us tickets will be given away to chatters who participate, so log onto before 9PM this Thursday for an opportunity to chat with your favorite Idols and possibly get tickets to the hottest Sunday night showdown in Araneta this year!

Get Your Idol Finale Tickets Now!

Good news from Philippine Idol!

Get in early in SM Megamall Cinema 3 to watch tonight's Results Show and get a chance to receive 3 tickets to watch the Grand Finals in Araneta Coliseum on December 9 and 10 (Saturday and Sunday).

See you there!

Will Cayabyab's "Bribe" to Miguel Work?

Idol Judge Ryan Cayabyab admitted in a newspaper interview that he tried everything to sway the voters on his side: being polite, being frank, even reverse psychology (remember when he called Jan as "my Philippine Idol"?). However, all of which did not seem to work as more and more talented candidates get eliminated while the so-called mediocre but vote-rich contestants remain.

One of these contestants who have been receiving a lot of flak from the viewers is Miguel Mendoza, the youngest among the Idol finalists. He has been criticized by both the judges and the viewers for having that lack of vocal excellence, and yet he manages to escape elimination, even a place at the Bottom 3 (except last week).

After his performance last Sunday, both Francis Magalona and Pilita Corrales gave fair remarks on his Big Band renditions of True and I've Got You Under My Skin. However, Miguel's performance failed to impress the Maestro Musician.

And in a strange twist, Ryan Cayabyab told Miguel that if he doesn't make it to the Final 3, he would write a song especially for him.

Would this "bribe" work to Cayabyab's favor? Would Miguel's shedding of tears after his performance (whether because of Cayabyab's unimpressed comments or for his fan's show of support) seal his slot in the Final 3? Let's find out tonight.

Big Band Night: It's anybody's ball game

With only four finalists remaining in Philippine Idol, it remained to be seen who would give in to a show of nerves on Big Band Night. With nary a guest judge in sight, and a somewhat steamy November air hanging around the Megamall Cinema 3 soundstage, all four finalists delivered performances that we at Philippine Idol Updates think genuinely raised the bar.

The night kicked off with "Hunky Idol" Jan Nieto (this is the last time we're using their nicknames; yes, with one more performance night to go, we'd like to say that these nicknames cheapen our idols). Dressed in a simple tuxedo that allowed people to focus on his singing, this season's arguably most improved Idol finalist sassed out a passable version of Beyond the Sea and a more-than-passable version of The Way You Look Tonight. With more fluid movements than previous episodes and general facial expressions that are light years ahead of constipated (but a few eons short of actual genuine emotion), we'd be hard-pressed not to root for Jan's inclusion in the Final Three. Stellar job.

"Idol Heartthrob" Miguel Mendoza followed Nieto. The youngest contestant in the first season actually delivered performances that belied his age and maturity. His versions of True and I've Got You Under My Skin were spot-on and virtually flawless vocally; we'd disagree with the general consensus of the judges that he looked stiff onstage and lacked a connection, and would venture out on a limb and actually say we liked his performances in an off-red jacket, black pants, and white tie. The song choices suited his range, and allowed him to be a little more limber with his performance-style. On a side-note, Ryan Cayabyab promised Mendoza that he would write a song for him if he did not make it to the Final Three, in our opinion a relatively thinly veiled plea to his voters to not vote him through. Let's see if the voters bite the carrot.

"Soul Idol" Mau Marcelo was a vision in a red gown, red gloves, red flower in her hair, and red shoes. Her lipstick was blue. [That's a joke.] Once again, the sole remaining female in the Top Four delivered a world-class performance, cooing out a breathy and soulful version of Dianne Reeves' My Funny Valentine and a sassy stomp-out of Waray Waray, accredited to Eartha Kitt that we find difficult to believe actually exists. One thing we've really noticed about Marcelo is that she manages to hold the attention of both audience and viewers; last night, she neither belted nor sassed, and her version of Waray Waray was actually off-key at several parts during the number, but she received an off-the-cuff reaction atypical of Mau (i.e., standing ovation). For her not to make Final Three would be supreme injustice personified.

Gian Magdangal (yes, we're not even going to mention his nickname) closed out the show with a risky choice - the mid-tempo They Can’t Take That Away From Me and the languid The Very Thought Of You. With a red vest over a simple white shirt, black pants, and a light spring in his step, Magdangal reminded the judges of a young Frank Sinatra. We, on the other hand, felt the key of the first song was too low for the feisty Magdangal, who really came across with touches of Fred Astaire that hit the bar just right to balance the song.

At this point, we're pretty sure most people following the show are rooting for a Magdangal-Marcelo-Nieto Final Three, but we daresay the unpredictable continues to shine supreme on Philippine Idol. With the tradition of American Idol's voting off strong favorites during the Final Four (read: Tamyra Gray, Latoya London, Anthony Federov, Chris Daughtry), we're not even going to try a fearless forecast. As we said earlier, at this point, it's anyone's game.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All remaining Idol finalists don't deserve critical backlash

Today, Philippine Idol Updates wishes to play devil's advocate. A lot of discussion on online and offline media have played up allegations that finalists Miguel Mendoza and Jan Nieto are running well-oiled voting machines powered by their respective camps that they are virtual shoo-ins for the final two slots.

Regardless of whether or not these allegations are true, here's a thought for all of us: at the end of the day, Philippine Idol is a televised talent show, and these four remaining finalists were selected because the judges felt they had talent. In the eyes of Ryan Cayabyab, Pilita Corrales, and Francis Magalona, Mendoza, Nieto, Gian Magdangal, and Mau Marcelo have talent. Just because other people's bets were booted out earlier does not nullify the fact that the remaining four are there because they received enough votes - whether it's from twenty people voting a thousand times or a twenty thousand persons voting once each - to make it to the top four.

We appeal to the humanity in you - as Philippine Idol correspondent Ganns Deen does in his latest Idol-themed entry about Miguel Mendoza - to remember that Mendoza and Nieto are human beings, too. They do not deserve to be slandered, maligned, disrespected, and slammed just because their performances did not, for whatever reason, meet your own personal standards. If you are angry with their having made it this far, speak with your mobile phones and vote for either Marcelo or Magdangal. But we urge you to remember that both gentlemen - in the eyes of the judges, at least - have talent, and have done nothing to you to deserve the kind of raging hatred some of you have been posting on our blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pow falters, 4 Idols remain!

In another shocking Results Show, Power Idol Pow Chavez was eliminated last Monday, leaving four finalists in contention to become the first Philippine Idol.

Although she had a passable performance of So Far So Good, and taking the risk of singing guest judge Lea Salonga's Miss Saigon piece "I'd Give My Life For You" (as well as the risk of wearing a Vietnamese dress), her votes were not enough to topple those of fellow Bottom 3 Miguel and Jan.

However, it's not the end of the road of Pow. News has been circulating that a major TV network has taken interest to include Pow in their stable of musical talents. Also, being a part of Top 5 raises her chances of landing an album post-Idol.

Meanwhile, update on Idol Radio will be within Tuesday (Philippine calendar), so keep posted.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Movies & Musicals: Gian, Mau's stars shine bright

The night with the movie and musical theme starts with the five finalists – Jan Nieto, Miguel Mendoza, Pow Chavez, Mau Marcelo, and Gian Magdangal – singing Seasons of Love from Rent. All the vocalists are in topnotch form – yes, even Miguel – and it is genuinely hair-raising. This particular song finds the spotlight shining on Pow – she gets the high notes and the ad libs, and it’s quite delightful to hear Pow stepping out of her comfort.

Tonight’s special judge is Francis M. Haha, that’s a joke. Magalona, of course, makes a return to the judges’ table, as the show welcomes Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga. Salonga promises to “pull no punches.” Each artist gets two songs each – one from movies and one from musicals – and starts the intro with a cheap mini-movie.

Pow Chavez sings So Far, So Good from About Last Night and finally wears a dress, but only in her movie. She selects a Sheena Easton song, and sings it decently, with a good energy and little bum notes. I like her hat.
Pilita: Idol material ka – very good, definitely, but – she looked so beautiful in that dress. I am still waiting to see you in a nicer – medyo gumanda ka – in the second song.
Francis: Pow, alam ko magaling ang boses mo, you deserve to be part of the five, but when you wear clothes, wear them live! I left and you’re still Pow.
Lea: I don’t want to ever see you in a dress. Kung hindi ka comportable, de hindi ka comportable when you sing. Number one, I was telling Kiko, very clear and clean, medyo when you got to the falsetto, it’s windy. On the whole, it’s a great way to open the show.
Ryan: You last steam near the end, nauubusan na. The truth is, I liked the movie better.

Miguel Mendoza promises to deliver youthful exuberance, singing Growing Up from Bagets. The video showcases a BAgets return. One thing that Miguel definitely has going for him is that he has exquisite pronunciation – he sings each word clearly. His notes are okay, but I question the Idols’ scriptwriter’s choice of description, because he doesn’t show ‘youthful exuberance.’ And the MTV shows he can’t dance.
Francis: Malinis ang pagkanta, different from the original.
Lea: I grew up on this song. On a whole, you’re right about the shirt. For someone who’s 17, you did well.
Pilita: I heard very nasal and some not right there notes, but since you’re doing two songs tonight. I was not very impressed with this one.
Ryan: You know what I feel about you. They know what I feel about Miguel. Tonight, I like your smile. That’s it.

Gian Magdangal selects Sana Ay Ikaw na Nga from Eto Na Naman. It’s a terribly cheesy video that accompanies the song, and well, yech – standard love fare, with a busted heart for Gian as Apple Chiu introduces her ‘husband’ Justin. He croons this one out with a lot more emotion than we’re used to, and he doesn’t generally belt it out, which is good because lately, his pitch hasn’t been the same. Hopefully, it’ll work, because some may find it boring.
Lea: First of all, happy birthday. You know how difficult this is for me because I actually know you. You’re gonna get it the worst. All of our musical friends are threatening to kill me. I love that you wore your heart on your sleeve on how you sang; I knew what you were feeling. You acted it as well as you sang. You were actually feeling. Besides the odd flat – and always watch the last note – I found no fault and I really enjoyed you.
Francis: Ako, I always praise Gian. Some people think he’s good with fast songs, this one, a slow song, magaling pa rin. Good.
Pilita: Gian can sing anything. He has proven that from the beginning. Happy birthday. You are one of my favorites.
Ryan: * sigh * Okay, Gian, I was waiting for something tonight. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t feel it. I’ll tell you something, among the boys, you’re the best singer, but I need you to touch my heart because I didn’t feel it. I feel cold. I wish you work on that.

Jan Nieto opts to sing Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang, which comes with a controversial movie: him cheating on “wifey” Suey Medina, using Jeli Mateo. Hmp! It’s a brave choice of song; personally, one of my favorite Filipino songs. He starts it out off-key, eeeh, and his facial expressions are just too much this time around, I suppose to better communicate the angst of the song. His voice is strong, but there’s no buildup, so let’s see what the judges have to say.
Francis: Jan, well, I caught you acting. Haha. I felt you were just going through the motions. You weren’t really feeling it. Technicalities, you were hitting the right notes, so that’s all.
Lea: First the good news. Note-perfect, okay. I cannot fault the singing, but parang you were told where to go, and you tried to hit those spots as you were going about the song. The facial expressions, I don’t know about this right now. I can close my eyes, and it’s fine. Visually, it’s something that you can work on.
Pilita: I was crying because he cheated on me! Visually, I liked what I saw, the way you sang, and what I really like about you, Jan, you really try very hard, and you did it tonight.
Ryan: I think what Lea and Mamita were saying, you looked awkward doing all these facial expressions. The singing was okay, very good for me. But I’ll give you one award: for best performance as an actor on-screen.

Mau Marcelo does a spoof of Diamonds are Forever, with her as the kidnapped celebrity rescued by Brad Turvey. The Shirley Bassey original is a piece of cake for Mau, who is all decked out in a purple gown and a spectacular hairdo. She breathes out that “forever!” Divang-diva! I absolutely loved it!
Pilita: Yes! Yes! My God! Mau, you look beautiful! Honestly, you do! The song suits you. There were just a few times na hindi ka nakaabot but maybe because you’re so engrossed with your beauty and your movement a la Pilita Corrales…! Very good!
Francis: I grew up listening to Bassey. I think you are stunningly beautiful, and, of course, Mau, tonight, vocally, you’re the diamond.
Lea: I think the audience reaction was more telling than anything we could say. There’s one sustained note that got me, but on the whole, that is an incredible performance, vocally. It’s in your body, and your movement looked organic. Everything seemed to come from you, and the fact that that performance just made everybody in the back go crazy, I’d put my money on you. That’s the best performance of the night so far.
Ryan: Great singing, Mau, you know that. One additional award: best supporting extra.

With the return of the musicals, Pow launches into I’ll Give My Life for You from Miss Saigon. Is she crazy, with Lea in the judges’ table?? Oh, look, she’s in a dress! My heart is stopping! Actually, note-wise, almost flawless, save for a few kinks.
Pilita: I think I’d like to see Pow in her pants! Pow, congratulations, as far as I am concerned, I think you did it fantastically well.
Francis: Pow, I think you’re a good actress, and I think that you proved your versatility. Good job.
Lea: This was my song, I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. You did it well. It’s like a train emotionally, and you’ve got to keep going. That last note is important because that’s the note that people will remember, and a lot of it was great, but careful you don’t lose steam in certain parts that will be memorable.
Ryan: Pow, I had my eyes closed, so most of the time, it was very good.

Miguel awkwardly croons out Can You Feel the Love Tonight, a ridiculously safe choice, and sings it by numbers. I am not pleased by Miguel’s ad libs, and the nail in my coffin for this painful three minutes is the dancing lion couple in the background. Yech – polite applause.
Francis: I think of the five, I think Miguel is the least vocally. This one I can say, one can teach technique, but you can’t teach looks. And that, you’ve got. I’m looking at you as a record producer, and you can sell albums.
Lea: You seem like a sweet guy, so I’ll be kind. You sing it, and a lot of it has to do with the fact you’re 17, and I think that’s the one thing that’s kulang. It’s coming across like something you’re taught in kindergarten. There’s potential, I’m wanting something more than I’m not getting.
Pilita: It’s something lacking in his singing, his expressions, maybe it is the youth, but for me, I don’t know, your voice seemed tired tonight. Are you feeling well? Are you in love with Jeli?
Ryan: I have nothing to say, Miguel. That’s it.

Gian selects Greased Lightning from Grease, and well, what have we to say about this camp classic? Do you really want to select a song by, of all people, John Travolta? Ick. To his credit, he kept that last note going.
Pilita: Wala akong masabi. Ang galing! Gian Carlo, you are still there to be an Idol!
Lea: Now you understand, getting the back of the house crazy? The first song didn’t carry as effectively as this, regardless of what everyone had to say. Obviously, you were comfortable because you’ve done so many musicals. I think the first one, we came into discussion even after the judging was over, with this, you just rolled and rolled, and the audience was with you. If you can get the audience with you from start to finish, you’re in heaven, and the rest is gravy.
Francis: The stage is your playground, you’re a natural, every time you perform, it’s 100%.
Ryan: As we musicians say, mismo na mismo yun.

Jan sings Corner of the Sky from Pippin, and I can’t understand most of what he’s singing. With the women dancing around him, his shirt all down to there, he’s milking the Hunky Idol tag for all its worth. What’s with the
Francis: I liked this performance better than the last.
Lea: You’re a good looking guy and a good singer. However, there’s a lot in your performance I found uncomfortable. I don’t want to see ‘uncomfortable’ in a singer, and I don’t want to see a poor singer on the stage. I couldn’t get the poses, I didn’t know what was going on. It isn’t a rhythm thing. I think there’s just something that’s just not connecting, I’m not sure what it is.
Pilita: His movements are awkward, you’re still very good looking, I don’t care.
Ryan: Of all contestants, you’re the most improved, vocally and it looks that you’ve gotten the right way of singing. You looked awkward in the poses. Other than that, I think the singing was very good.

In a masterful move, Mau selects And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going from Dreamgirls, and channels every ounce of melanin into the Jennifer Holliday classic. While not as close as Holliday’s (or even Jennifer Hudson’s) performance, it was the highlight of the evening.
Francis: Iba yung palakpak ng tala’t paghanga, for both performances we hear the applause of paghanga.
Lea: I liked the first song better, it’s like you felt the diamonds better. The second song, I didn’t feel it as much. The emotional investment didn’t seem as much, the notes were there, but the emotions were kinulang. I’m pretty happy with the performance.
Pilita: As a performer, we’ve seen Mau – and her fashion sense so much better, may slit pa! – but I’ve heard this song done much better than the way you did it tonight. But still it was very good.
Ryan: Sa akin, Mau, panalo ka pa rin.

Who were the judges’ choices?
Francis said the five there have the right to be there. They all have their characteristics.
Lea chose Gian and Mau as the best of the lot. Mau for movies, Gian for musicals. Jan needs to get rid of the poses, relax and enjoy. This is the most fun job, it’s a thrill every time we get to sing.
Pilita says Pow was notable because she was so different and she knows how nervous she was to sing Lea’s song. That, and Gian.
Ryan said Mark Reyes, the director, is the winner of the show.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Broadway and Movie Theme Week: Lea Salonga to sit as fourth judge

It's only three week away from determining the very first Philippine Idol, and now the competition begins to really heat up.

Each of the five remaining Idol hopefuls would sing two songs each from the Broadway and Movie Theme Week. Both of their songs were selected by the producer and director of the show.

And what further excites the viewers is--no, not the return of Francis Magalona as judge--the inclusion of Lea Salonga as guest judge this Sunday.

No stranger to the Broadway genre, Tony Award winner Salonga is one of the country's pride in the international music scene, having featured in several movie theme songs most notably "A Whole New World" from Aladdin and the movie version of "Reflection" from Mulan.

The mere mention of Lea Salonga would definitely shake the knees of our Idol hopefuls. However, would she be just as frank as former guest judge Mo Twister or become laidback like her colleagues at the judge's table?

Also to wach out for are the special music videos that featured our finalists, which will be shown before their performances. Sources say that Pow would, giving in to Mamita's wish, wear a dress in her video.

Here are the following song choices of our Top 5:
MAU - And I'm Telling You (from Dreamgirls)/ Diamonds Are Forever
MIGUEL - Can You Feel the Love Tonight (from Lion King)/ Growing Up (theme song from Bagets)
GIAN - Greased Lightning (from Grease)/ Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga
JAN - Corner of the Sky (from Pippin)/ Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang
POW - I Still Believe (from Miss Saigon)/ So Far So Good

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Twister doesn't skirt the issue; Dingle bites the dust

In a tense and markedly biting Philippine Idol results night, "R&B Idol" Ken Dingle received the least amounts of votes and was eliminated. With Dingle in the bottom two was "Soul Idol" Mau Marcelo, and in the bottom three was "Hunky Idol" Jan Nieto.

Dingle was undoubtedly the most criticized of all 12 Philippine Idol finalists, having received less then stellar marks most of the six weeks he was on the show. Last night, guest judge Mo Twister - who threatened to wear a dress if Dingle survived elimination - reiterated his comment that Dingle was the worst performer of the night and should be eliminated.

Regular Philippine Idol judges Ryan Cayabyab and Pilita Corrales expressed their surprise at seeing Nieto in the bottom three, considering he had never been there before.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Radio hits: Dark horse Jan wins two in a row

[Full review for posting tomorrow.]

Our correspondent left his notes at home and won't be able to post them until tonight. Meanwhile, here are tarty comments on last night's show:

The show's theme is "Radio Hits," and features radio DJs introducing each contestant. They are grouped off into three duos - Jan Nieto and Gian Magdangal, Mau Marcelo and Miguel Mendoza, and Ken Dingle and Pow Chavez - who selected the performance song for each other.

Guest judge is radio personality Mo Twister. Ooh, cool shades.

- Gian starts the show with Jan's selection, Jay-R's Bakit Pa Ba. The judges feel it was a so-so performance, with Mo giving it "6 of 10." Pilita says he's tired.
- Jan sings Gian's choice, You Are My Song - done by many famous artists, including Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez - and nails it. Mo gives him a handshake. Ryan says he's a dark horse emerging as a true contender.
- Mau sang Jamie Rivera's Mahal Naman Kita, and receives noncommittal comments from the judges. Pilita is thrilled by Mau's choice of clothes. Mau says it's the best she could do because the song is "easy" and "pa-tweetums."
- Miguel sings Wency Cornejo's Hanggan, and is told off by the judges. Mo says its a "boring song," and chastises Miguel for not bringing youthful energy into the song. Miguel says he couldn't internalize it because it's "pang-wedding."
- Ken is given Bryan Adams' Everything I Do (I Do It For You) by Pow, and is vilified by the judges. Mo and Ryan agree it's "all over the place."
- Pow sings Love Moves (In Mysterious Ways) and is complemented for wearing makeup. Mo says it's the second-best performance of the night. Ryan encourages her to stay in touch with her feminine side.

Based on performance and judges' comments, we can assume the following ranking for the Final 6: Jan, Pow, Mau, Gian, Miguel, Ken. Mo, however, predicts a Ken ouster, daring the viewers to vote Dingle out or else he'll "wear a dress for a week." With that, he basically saves Dingle from elimination. Thanks a lot, Twister; pick something in a nice floral motif.

Our fearless forecast: Expect Gian, Mau, and Ken in the bottom three, with Gian getting the boot. :(

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Radio Hits and the Idol Challenge

This coming Sunday, the six Idol hopefuls will sing the greatest hits on radio. And in true Idol style, this week won't be without twists.

Each of the finalists would be "adopted" by an FM radio station (either from 90.7 Love Radio, Yes FM 101.1, Dream FM 106.7, or 93.9 i-FM) not only to promote the Philippine Idol CD, but also to learn the goings-on in the music industry. The radio stations would also provide a shortlist of songs whom their adopted Idol should sing.

According to reports, the Idol finalists will sing two songs this week: one from the list, the other chosen by their co-finalist. Gian Magdangal would choose a song for Jan Nieto and vice versa, same between Mau Marcelo and Miguel Mendoza, and Pow Chavez to Ken Dingle.

We have received unverified reports on six of the song choices:

* Jan Nieto - You Are My Song by Martin Nievera
* Ken Dingle - Everything I Do, I Do It for You by Bryan Adams
* Miguel Mendoza - Hanggang by Wency Cornejo
* Mau Marcelo - Mahal Naman Kita by Jamie Rivera
* Pow Chavez - Love Moves in Mysterious Ways by Julia Fordham
* Gian Magdangal - Bakit Pa Ba? by Jay-R

Pilita Corrales: Prejudist or Just Plain Old-Fashioned?

Many Philippine Idol viewers reacted to what Pilita Corrales commented on some of the contestants last Sunday. Mamita's take on the contestant's weight and attire, instead of the vocal quality and technique, has compared her to American Idol's Paula Abdul.

Pilita's never-ending prodding on Pow to wear a skirt is slowly taking a toll on the lesbian contender as she is smirking while Pilita is commenting to punch her in the face if Pow feels bad about it. Meanwhile, Pilita said on Mau's song choice "Shy Guy" is that the song is ideal for a singer who is slimmer and sexier.

Some viewers think that Pilita is showing off her prejudist point of view, that girls should wear skirts and remain thin for the rest of their lives. However, we also have to understand that Pilita came from a period where lesbians and fat divas were unheard off (even Aretha Franklin used to be thin).

What is your take on Pilita's judgment?

Philippine Idol slaughtered in ratings?

Philippine Idol Updates stumbled on this blog, which purports to be a blog posted by "AGB Neilsen." Is there any truth to it? Well, we don't quite know, but those numbers certainly make our eyebrows skyrocket off our faces.

Daddydodu 17.7 share
Pinoy Dream Academy 18.6
Philippine Idol:2.9

Not even three percent?? Is this for real?

Weigh in, Idol fans.

Only six remain as Apple falls off Idol tree

In yet another Philippine Idol elimination that left many Idols fans frustrated and almost all Idol finalists in tears, rich-voiced Philippine Idol finalist Apple Chiu was voted off last night after receiving universal praise from the judges two nights before with a phenomenal performance of Labelle's Lady Marmalade.

It was Chiu's second time in a Philippine Idol bottom three, having received the third-lowest number of votes to Jeli Mateo and Arms Cruz last week.

With Chiu in the Philippine Idolbottom two was Baguio bet Ken Dingle, who sashayed his way through Stevie Wonder's Signed Sealed Delivered. Narrowly avoiding the bottom two was Pow Chavez, who delivered a by-the-numbers performance of Cheryl Lynn's Got to Be Real.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Round of 7: Dance Night finds Jan, Apple sizzling

It’s another exciting evening of Philippine Idol, and it kicks off in grand style with a pumped-up rendition of Sumayaw Sumunod. Ryan Agoncillo introduces us to the theme of the evening – dance music – then the guest judge, Regine Tolentino, who sashays onto the judge’s seat to Lady Marmalade. She says she’ll be commenting on the overall package – confidence – because she’d rather leave the singing comments to Ryan and Mamita. Oi vey, to add to the tacky, we’re introduced to the G Force Dancers, who are set to dance with the Idol finalists.

“Hunky Idol” Jan Nieto runs us through his slumbook, and we learn he’s into sports, ice cream, and a rendition of Ricky Martin’s Living La Vida Loca. He starts it out fully clothed, and ends the song sans jacket and sunglasses (at night), revealing a black sleeveless body-hugging shirt (Pilita’s eyes popped out of their sockets). Jan doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the song, copying Martin’s favorite song-ending pose. Vocally, he sings in tune, but there’s no heart to it – it’s singing by numbers. On the bright side, kudos to Jan for keeping himself in pitch and tune despite the moves; the tendency to go off-pitch rises significantly as a person gets more and more out of breath, and it’s a testament to Nieto’s fitness that he pulls off the song without a bum note.
Pilita: Ang galing-galing mo, Jan Nieto! Gusto ko sanang pumuta dyan at sumayaw. (At this point, Pilita runs up to dance for a while with Jan). Very good! Do something different, something they haven’t done before, and
Regine: Alam ko kinakabahan ka and you blew me away. I love you! Powerful, sexy, and you really delivered.
Ryan: Tonight, I knew it was gonna be this noisy and fun. What I did was ask the producers to give me a CD of your rehearsals. Jan, nakakaloka. Very unexpected, keep up the surprises.

“Power Idol” Pow Chavez likes badminton, Justin Timberlake, and Anne Hathaway. She plunges straight into Cheryl Lynn’s Got To Be Real. Pow, wearing a funky outfit featuring a leopard-skin polo and leather jacket, rips into the 70s chestnut with a lot of bravado, and despite a few bum notes, pulls this one off decently.
Regine: I’m glad you listen. You were awesome. That wasn’t my favorite song before, but it is now because of you.
Pilita: I knew that Pow could dance. I think the skirt is getting longer.
Ryan: You have to start reinventing yourself. There’s nothing new, nothing better tonight. It’s getting to be pretty old. I think you gotta do something else next time.

“Idol Heartthrob” Miguel Mendoza’s favorite color is apple-green (hmm!), and enjoys skydiving and scuba-diving. He sings the Pasadena’s Make It With You, a swing favorite, and he takes it to town with a sparkly blue jacket on top of a blue shirt and jeans. Miguel’s energy and enthusiasm is quite high, but his pitch is waaaaaaaay off tonight.
Pilita: Are you nervous? You were shaking. For me, you feel more comfortable singing a ballad, am I right? It’s nice to see him doing something different, but mas gusto ko when he’s singing something different.
Regine: He’s feeling it now, unlike with rehearsals. Ang galing! For me, when I saw the overall performance, I think everything was okay, but I think there were some moments na medyo pa-girl, medyo hindi macho ang movement na iyon.
Ryan: It was a bad song choice. You saw what the others have done, what they could do. You saw how hard they worked. The song choice didn’t do much for you. It was neither here nor there, nothing interesting. Miguel, you have to choose better songs.

“R&B Idol” Ken Dingle tells us that he was born in the year of the pig, is fond of chocolate, and admits he’s emotional. He decides to work on Stevie Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered - one of my personal favorites – and I didn’t have high hopes for Ken, especially after seeing the ridiculous purple boa and black/white horizontally striped pants. He certainly ripped into the song with a lot of energy, and, save for the horrific outfit and some kulotations , it was a more-than-decent performance – his second straight.
Regine: I had fun dancing. I would’ve wanted to see more dancing. I’m not so sure, overall performance, kasama dyan ang outfit. I don’t get the outfit. Overall, I think it was a lot of fun.
Pilita: I enjoyed it very much. It seems this is the type of song he would love to sing and make kulot. I liked it.
Ryan: From last week’s performance, you gathered tremendous confidence. That’s what I want to see. I don’t want a brooding personality whenever he performs; I want somebody whenever he/she performs, and I liked it.

“Disco Idol” Mau Marcelo likes adobo, Jericho Rosales, and Queen Latifah. Lau picks Diana King’s Shy Guy, a favorite show band song, and for once, poor Mau gets swallowed by the song, and not in a good way. We can’t understand her words, she reused some of her moves from the Beyonce song she did in Round 2, and, well, it was just a forgettable performance.
Regine: I encouraged her to reinvent herself. When you’re on the stage, you’re like a diva, your moves are there, your face has that ex-factor. Overall, if you look the part. When you’re at the diva level, you don’t laugh at yourself. Be a diva!
Pilita: I want to congratulate the dancers, they’re so wonderful! Mau, that song should be sang by someone who is sexy, slim, and tall. I’m still trying to find out if you would really like to become the Philippine Idol. If you want to be Philippine Idol, help your body!
Ryan: Mau, ikaw na yung pinakamagaling na singer ditto. Many of your fans like you the way you are, but I tell you – they’re right – if you want to be idol, you have to take your craft seriously, take movement seriously. It’s total performance.

Gian Magdangal (sorry, didn't get his idol nick) likes Robbie Williams, Garfield, and strawberry ice cream. Gian selects Williams’ Rock DJ, and, for a change, limits his dance moves, opting instead to go with the ‘cool rock star’ moves a la Williams, which works until he takes off his jacket and whirls it up above his head and grinds his hips like some stripper in a white polo shirt and a rosary. Ick. Vocally, pretty solid, as usual.
Regine: I expected you to dance more, and you use the whole stage, but this time, you didn’t do that. I liked your performance.
Pilita: I appreciated the fact that it was cool. The song, bagay sa iyo, the moves, you were just so comfortable. For me, your performance was the best of the night. Para sa akin lang. Good, nice, nice.
Ryan: Your performance was the counterpoint to everyone else’s. You were trying to be cool and small when everyone was trying to be big and energetic. For me, it was just okay.

“Sultry Idol” Apple Chiu likes Barbra Streisand, Chicken Little, and Miss Piggy. Apple rips into Lady Marmalade, using a wedding veil and tiara, which makes me think, actually, that someone got confused backstage at wardrobe, because the wedding shtick comes from Aguilera’s little fling with Britney and Madonna at the VMA’s, singing Hollywood. She ain’t no Aguilera, but her voice is as strong as ever.
Regine: I remember when we were in the studio, I said do everything fullout. Practice in your heels and outfit. Mas tingin ako as backup dancers mo. Don’t get me wrong, it was right on. I just wish I had seen more moves.
Pilita: Definitely, Apple has the look, the height, the body. You should have just let the pants fall. I enjoyed your singing.
Ryan: We are watching you, Apple, surprise us every week. That was a strong performance, very good. So, surprise us next week.

The judges pick Jan, Apple, and Gian as standouts.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Philippine Idol Forums should have moderators

As of late, the Philippine Idol Official Forum has been littered with irrelevant threads and posts. Although a lot of threads criticized the show and some of its contestants (which is OK), some members have the nerve to promote a certain maid from Dubai who is a contestant from a Big Brother-style singing contest. Others would bash other members, which is unethical in forums.

We hope that the good people of Philippine Idol would provide the forum with a god in the form of an active moderator, whose duty is to eliminate the off-topic bashing, Rosita-praising, and other threads not helpful in promoting Philippine Idol.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Philippine Idol taking steps vs power voting

The good people behind Philippine Idol are doing their best in ensuing the accuracy of the voting results. This means that the votes should be from those who not only support their finalists, but also those who have watched the program.

After the newly-imposed two-hour voting period, Philippine Idol has apparently cancelled the Vote PINs. Several Netopia outlets that have previously selling Vote PINs no longer offer them. This means, the only way to vote for your Idols is through landline and multiple text messages.

This should be a welcoming note for those who have been complaining that only the finalists with "rich" resources advance unfairly in the Finals.

Week 6: Dance Grooves/ Vina Morales as Judge?

This week's challenge for our 7 remaining Idol hopefuls is Dance Music. This is expected to be an exciting performance night as most of our finalist have at least a knack for dancing, especially Pow and Ken. However, it will be a difficult week for the likes of Miguel and Jan whom we have seen in the past episodes having a hard time singing and dancing at the same time.

As for the guest judge for this week, a certain "francis" posted this message on the chatbox:

2 Nov 06, 15:13
: mga idol fans, musta na!, kinuha kong guest judge para sa dance theme week, ay si...vina morales! she's the best singer/dancer around. see you soon! be back on nov 11.

It is, however, yet to be confirmed.

Let's Support Idol's First Single "Kaleidoscope World"

Love Radio and Yes FM, two of the leading FM stations in Metro Manila, are beginning to play Philippine Idol's first single. The 12 finalists revived Francis Magalona's jazzy tune "Kaleidoscope World," delivering their unique voices and musical styles.

So far, Kaleidoscope World has been receiving decent airplay. You probably have heard it by now. If not, tune in to Love Radio and Yes FM (check your local listings for the station).

Let us support our Idols' first single by voting at Love Radio. Just type in LOVERADIO [space] Kaleidoscope World and send it to 2299.

Jeli and Arms felt "slighted"

The domino effect of the new two-hour voting period has begun. Many sectors have reacted to this new procedure. For one, some viewers--and even some of the eliminated contestants--complained that this should have been done earlier in the competition.

Jeli and Arms lamented during their interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer that they weren't informed of the two-hour voting, leaving their supporters "off-guard".

"Not all of my supporters were able to vote within the two-hour period," Jeli said. Arms agreed. "
Most of (my townmates in Zamboanga) just watch the show on the big screen in the town plaza. Some of them went home after watching me perform—I was the second contestant that night—hoping to send their text votes in the morning," she said.

ABC's Creative and Entertainment Production Head Perci Intalan said that the contestants were not informed as part of the "dynamics" of the show. "The program becomes more difficult that way," he said.

However, ABC insiders reported that while host Ryan Agoncillo was announcing the new voting procedure, a parent of one finalist began tinkering on his or her cellphone. The parent was probably beginning a round of text brigades informing the supporters to vote right away.